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1.
Lancet Rheumatol ; 4(7): e490-e506, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1882682

ABSTRACT

Background: The risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes in people with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases and on immune-modifying drugs might not be fully mediated by comorbidities and might vary by factors such as ethnicity. We aimed to assess the risk of severe COVID-19 in adults with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases and in those on immune-modifying therapies. Methods: We did a cohort study, using OpenSAFELY (an analytics platform for electronic health records) and TPP (a software provider for general practitioners), analysing routinely collected primary care data linked to hospital admission, death, and previously unavailable hospital prescription data. We included people aged 18 years or older on March 1, 2020, who were registered with TPP practices with at least 12 months of primary care records before March, 2020. We used Cox regression (adjusting for confounders and mediators) to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) comparing the risk of COVID-19-related death, critical care admission or death, and hospital admission (from March 1 to Sept 30, 2020) in people with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases compared with the general population, and in people with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases on targeted immune-modifying drugs (eg, biologics) compared with those on standard systemic treatment (eg, methotrexate). Findings: We identified 17 672 065 adults; 1 163 438 adults (640 164 [55·0%] women and 523 274 [45·0%] men, and 827 457 [71·1%] of White ethnicity) had immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, and 16 508 627 people (8 215 020 [49·8%] women and 8 293 607 [50·2%] men, and 10 614 096 [64·3%] of White ethnicity) were included as the general population. Of 1 163 438 adults with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, 19 119 (1·6%) received targeted immune-modifying therapy and 181 694 (15·6%) received standard systemic therapy. Compared with the general population, adults with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases had an increased risk of COVID-19-related death after adjusting for confounders (age, sex, deprivation, and smoking status; HR 1·23, 95% CI 1·20-1·27) and further adjusting for mediators (body-mass index [BMI], cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and current glucocorticoid use; 1·15, 1·11-1·18). Adults with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases also had an increased risk of COVID-19-related critical care admission or death (confounder-adjusted HR 1·24, 95% CI 1·21-1·28; mediator-adjusted 1·16, 1·12-1·19) and hospital admission (confounder-adjusted 1·32, 1·29-1·35; mediator-adjusted 1·20, 1·17-1·23). In post-hoc analyses, the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes in people with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases was higher in non-White ethnic groups than in White ethnic groups (as it was in the general population). We saw no evidence of increased COVID-19-related death in adults on targeted, compared with those on standard systemic, therapy after adjusting for confounders (age, sex, deprivation, BMI, immune-mediated inflammatory diseases [bowel, joint, and skin], cardiovascular disease, cancer [excluding non-melanoma skin cancer], stroke, and diabetes (HR 1·03, 95% CI 0·80-1·33), and after additionally adjusting for current glucocorticoid use (1·01, 0·78-1·30). There was no evidence of increased COVID-19-related death in adults prescribed tumour necrosis factor inhibitors, interleukin (IL)-12/IL­23 inhibitors, IL-17 inhibitors, IL-6 inhibitors, or Janus kinase inhibitors compared with those on standard systemic therapy. Rituximab was associated with increased COVID-19-related death (HR 1·68, 95% CI 1·11-2·56), with some attenuation after excluding people with haematological malignancies or organ transplants (1·54, 0·95-2·49). Interpretation: COVID-19 deaths and hospital admissions were higher in people with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. We saw no increased risk of adverse COVID-19 outcomes in those on most targeted immune-modifying drugs for immune-mediated inflammatory diseases compared with those on standard systemic therapy. Funding: UK Medical Research Council, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, and Wellcome Trust.

2.
Vaccine ; 2022 Jun 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1882615

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: We investigated the potential association of COVID-19 vaccination with three acute neurological events: Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), transverse myelitis and Bell's palsy. METHODS: With the approval of NHS England we analysed primary care data from >17 million patients in England linked to emergency care, hospital admission and mortality records in the OpenSAFELY platform. Separately for each vaccine brand, we used a self-controlled case series design to estimate the incidence rate ratio for each outcome in the period following vaccination (4-42 days for GBS, 4-28 days for transverse myelitis and Bell's palsy) compared to a within-person baseline, using conditional Poisson regression. RESULTS: Among 7,783,441 ChAdOx1 vaccinees, there was an increased rate of GBS (N = 517; incidence rate ratio 2·85; 95% CI2·33-3·47) and Bell's palsy (N = 5,350; 1·39; 1·27-1·53) following a first dose of ChAdOx1 vaccine, corresponding to 11.0 additional cases of GBS and 17.9 cases of Bell's palsy per 1 million vaccinees if causal. For GBS this applied to the first, but not the second, dose. There was no clear evidence of an association of ChAdOx1 vaccination with transverse myelitis (N = 199; 1·51; 0·96-2·37). Among 5,729,152 BNT162b2 vaccinees, there was no evidence of any association with GBS (N = 283; 1·09; 0·75-1·57), transverse myelitis (N = 109; 1·62; 0·86-3·03) or Bell's palsy (N = 3,609; 0·89; 0·76-1·03). Among 255,446 mRNA-1273 vaccine recipients there was no evidence of an association with Bell's palsy (N = 78; 0·88, 0·32-2·42). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 vaccines save lives, but it is important to understand rare adverse events. We observed a short-term increased rate of Guillain-Barré syndrome and Bell's palsy after first dose of ChAdOx1 vaccine. The absolute risk, assuming a causal effect attributable to vaccination, was low.

3.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2452: 317-351, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1844274

ABSTRACT

The unprecedented scientific achievements in combating the COVID-19 pandemic reflect a global response informed by unprecedented access to data. We now have the ability to rapidly generate a diversity of information on an emerging pathogen and, by using high-performance computing and a systems biology approach, we can mine this wealth of information to understand the complexities of viral pathogenesis and contagion like never before. These efforts will aid in the development of vaccines, antiviral medications, and inform policymakers and clinicians. Here we detail computational protocols developed as SARS-CoV-2 began to spread across the globe. They include pathogen detection, comparative structural proteomics, evolutionary adaptation analysis via network and artificial intelligence methodologies, and multiomic integration. These protocols constitute a core framework on which to build a systems-level infrastructure that can be quickly brought to bear on future pathogens before they evolve into pandemic proportions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Artificial Intelligence , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Systems Biology
4.
Br J Gen Pract ; 72(720): e456-e463, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1810374

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early evidence has shown that anticoagulant reduces the risk of thrombotic events in those infected with COVID-19. However, evidence of the role of routinely prescribed oral anticoagulants (OACs) in COVID-19 outcomes is limited. AIM: To investigate the association between OACs and COVID-19 outcomes in those with atrial fibrillation and a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 2. DESIGN AND SETTING: On behalf of NHS England, a population-based cohort study was conducted. METHOD: The study used primary care data and pseudonymously-linked SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing data, hospital admissions, and death records from England. Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for COVID-19 outcomes comparing people with current OAC use versus non-use, accounting for age, sex, comorbidities, other medications, deprivation, and general practice. RESULTS: Of 71 103 people with atrial fibrillation and a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 2, there were 52 832 current OAC users and 18 271 non-users. No difference in risk of being tested for SARS-CoV-2 was associated with current use (adjusted HR [aHR] 0.99, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.95 to 1.04) versus non-use. A lower risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 (aHR 0.77, 95% CI = 0.63 to 0.95) and a marginally lower risk of COVID-19-related death (aHR, 0.74, 95% CI = 0.53 to 1.04) were associated with current use versus non-use. CONCLUSION: Among those at low baseline stroke risk, people receiving OACs had a lower risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 and severe COVID-19 outcomes than non-users; this might be explained by a causal effect of OACs in preventing severe COVID-19 outcomes or unmeasured confounding, including more cautious behaviours leading to reduced infection risk.

5.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 14: 100295, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747703

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Residents in care homes have been severely impacted by COVID-19. We describe trends in the mortality risk among residents of care homes compared to private homes. METHODS: On behalf of NHS England we used OpenSAFELY-TPP to calculate monthly age-standardised risks of death due to all causes and COVID-19 among adults aged >=65 years between 1/2/2019 and 31/03/2021. Care home residents were identified using linkage to Care and Quality Commission data. FINDINGS: We included 4,340,648 people aged 65 years or older on the 1st of February 2019, 2.2% of whom were classified as residing in a care or nursing home. Age-standardised mortality risks were approximately 10 times higher among care home residents compared to those in private housing in February 2019: comparative mortality figure (CMF) = 10.59 (95%CI = 9.51, 11.81) among women, and 10.87 (9.93, 11.90) among men. By April 2020 these relative differences had increased to more than 17 times with CMFs of 17.57 (16.43, 18.79) among women and 18.17 (17.22, 19.17) among men. CMFs did not increase during the second wave, despite a rise in the absolute age-standardised COVID-19 mortality risks. INTERPRETATION: COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on the mortality of care home residents in England compared to older residents of private homes, but only in the first wave. This may be explained by a degree of acquired immunity, improved protective measures or changes in the underlying frailty of the populations. The care home population should be prioritised for measures aimed at controlling COVID-19. FUNDING: Medical Research Council MR/V015737/1.

6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Sep 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706197

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant (B.1.1.7) is associated with higher transmissibility than wild type virus, becoming the dominant variant in England by January 2021. We aimed to describe the severity of the alpha variant in terms of the pathway of disease from testing positive to hospital admission and death. METHODS: With the approval of NHS England, we linked individual-level data from primary care with SARS-CoV-2 community testing, hospital admission, and ONS all-cause death data. We used testing data with S-gene target failure as a proxy for distinguishing alpha and wild-type cases, and stratified Cox proportional hazards regression to compare the relative severity of alpha cases compared to wild type diagnosed from 16th November 2020 to 11th January 2021. RESULTS: Using data from 185,234 people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the community (alpha=93,153; wild-type=92,081), in fully adjusted analysis accounting for individual-level demographics and comorbidities as well as regional variation in infection incidence, we found alpha associated with 73% higher hazards of all-cause death (aHR: 1.73 (95% CI 1.41 - 2.13; P<.0001)) and 62% higher hazards of hospital admission (aHR: 1.62 ((95% CI 1.48 - 1.78; P<.0001), compared to wild-type virus. Among patients already admitted to ICU, the association between alpha and increased all-cause mortality was smaller and the confidence interval included the null (aHR: 1.20 (95% CI 0.74 - 1.95; P=0.45)). CONCLUSIONS: The SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant is associated with an increased risk of both hospitalisation and mortality than wild-type virus.

7.
Diagn Progn Res ; 6(1): 6, 2022 Feb 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702772

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Obtaining accurate estimates of the risk of COVID-19-related death in the general population is challenging in the context of changing levels of circulating infection. METHODS: We propose a modelling approach to predict 28-day COVID-19-related death which explicitly accounts for COVID-19 infection prevalence using a series of sub-studies from new landmark times incorporating time-updating proxy measures of COVID-19 infection prevalence. This was compared with an approach ignoring infection prevalence. The target population was adults registered at a general practice in England in March 2020. The outcome was 28-day COVID-19-related death. Predictors included demographic characteristics and comorbidities. Three proxies of local infection prevalence were used: model-based estimates, rate of COVID-19-related attendances in emergency care, and rate of suspected COVID-19 cases in primary care. We used data within the TPP SystmOne electronic health record system linked to Office for National Statistics mortality data, using the OpenSAFELY platform, working on behalf of NHS England. Prediction models were developed in case-cohort samples with a 100-day follow-up. Validation was undertaken in 28-day cohorts from the target population. We considered predictive performance (discrimination and calibration) in geographical and temporal subsets of data not used in developing the risk prediction models. Simple models were contrasted to models including a full range of predictors. RESULTS: Prediction models were developed on 11,972,947 individuals, of whom 7999 experienced COVID-19-related death. All models discriminated well between individuals who did and did not experience the outcome, including simple models adjusting only for basic demographics and number of comorbidities: C-statistics 0.92-0.94. However, absolute risk estimates were substantially miscalibrated when infection prevalence was not explicitly modelled. CONCLUSIONS: Our proposed models allow absolute risk estimation in the context of changing infection prevalence but predictive performance is sensitive to the proxy for infection prevalence. Simple models can provide excellent discrimination and may simplify implementation of risk prediction tools.

8.
Clin Pharmacol Ther ; 2022 Feb 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1694806

ABSTRACT

As the scientific research community along with healthcare professionals and decision makers around the world fight tirelessly against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the need for comparative effectiveness research (CER) on preventive and therapeutic interventions for COVID-19 is immense. Randomized controlled trials markedly under-represent the frail and complex patients seen in routine care, and they do not typically have data on long-term treatment effects. The increasing availability of electronic health records (EHRs) for clinical research offers the opportunity to generate timely real-world evidence reflective of routine care for optimal management of COVID-19. However, there are many potential threats to the validity of CER based on EHR data that are not originally generated for research purposes. To ensure unbiased and robust results, we need high-quality healthcare databases, rigorous study designs, and proper implementation of appropriate statistical methods. We aimed to describe opportunities and challenges in EHR-based CER for COVID-19-related questions and to introduce best practices in pharmacoepidemiology to minimize potential biases. We structured our discussion into the following topics: (1) study population identification based on exposure status; (2) ascertainment of outcomes; (3) common biases and potential solutions; and (iv) data operational challenges specific to COVID-19 CER using EHRs. We provide structured guidance for the proper conduct and appraisal of drug and vaccine effectiveness and safety research using EHR data for the pandemic. This paper is endorsed by the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology (ISPE).

9.
The Lancet regional health. Europe ; 14:100295-100295, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1615360

ABSTRACT

Background Residents in care homes have been severely impacted by COVID-19. We describe trends in the mortality risk among residents of care homes compared to private homes. Methods On behalf of NHS England we used OpenSAFELY-TPP to calculate monthly age-standardised risks of death due to all causes and COVID-19 among adults aged >=65 years between 1/2/2019 and 31/03/2021. Care home residents were identified using linkage to Care and Quality Commission data. Findings We included 4,340,648 people aged 65 years or older on the 1st of February 2019, 2.2% of whom were classified as residing in a care or nursing home. Age-standardised mortality risks were approximately 10 times higher among care home residents compared to those in private housing in February 2019: comparative mortality figure (CMF) = 10.59 (95%CI = 9.51, 11.81) among women, and 10.87 (9.93, 11.90) among men. By April 2020 these relative differences had increased to more than 17 times with CMFs of 17.57 (16.43, 18.79) among women and 18.17 (17.22, 19.17) among men. CMFs did not increase during the second wave, despite a rise in the absolute age-standardised COVID-19 mortality risks. Interpretation COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on the mortality of care home residents in England compared to older residents of private homes, but only in the first wave. This may be explained by a degree of acquired immunity, improved protective measures or changes in the underlying frailty of the populations. The care home population should be prioritised for measures aimed at controlling COVID-19. Funding Medical Research Council MR/V015737/1

10.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 273, 2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612208

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus pandemic has disproportionally impacted racial and ethnic minority communities in the United States. Patterns of these disparities may be changing over time as outbreaks occur in different communities. Utilizing electronic health record data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), we estimated odds ratios, stratified by time period and region, for testing positive among 1,313,402 individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2 between February 12, 2020 and August 16, 2021 at VA medical facilities. We adjusted for personal characteristics (sex, age, rural/urban residence, VA facility) and a wide range of clinical characteristics that have been evaluated in prior SARS-CoV-2 reports and could potentially explain racial/ethnic disparities in SARS-CoV-2. Our study found racial and ethnic disparities for testing positive were most pronounced at the beginning of the pandemic and decreased over time. A key finding was that the disparity among Hispanic individuals attenuated but remained elevated, while disparities among Asian individuals reversed by March 1, 2021. The variation in racial and ethnic disparities in SARS-CoV-2 positivity by time and region, independent of underlying health status and other demographic characteristics in a nationwide cohort, provides important insight for strategies to prevent further outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , Rural Population , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United States/epidemiology , Urban Population , Young Adult
11.
Br J Gen Pract ; 72(714): e63-e74, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592598

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare activity. The NHS stopped non-urgent work in March 2020, later recommending services be restored to near-normal levels before winter where possible. AIM: To describe the volume and variation of coded clinical activity in general practice, taking respiratory disease and laboratory procedures as examples. DESIGN AND SETTING: Working on behalf of NHS England, a cohort study was conducted of 23.8 million patient records in general practice, in situ using OpenSAFELY. METHOD: Activity using Clinical Terms Version 3 codes and keyword searches from January 2019 to September 2020 are described. RESULTS: Activity recorded in general practice declined during the pandemic, but largely recovered by September. There was a large drop in coded activity for laboratory tests, with broad recovery to pre-pandemic levels by September. One exception was the international normalised ratio test, with a smaller reduction (median tests per 1000 patients in 2020: February 8.0; April 6.2; September 6.9). The pattern of recording for respiratory symptoms was less affected, following an expected seasonal pattern and classified as 'no change'. Respiratory infections exhibited a sustained drop, not returning to pre-pandemic levels by September. Asthma reviews experienced a small drop but recovered, whereas chronic obstructive pulmonary disease reviews remained below baseline. CONCLUSION: An open-source software framework was delivered to describe trends and variation in clinical activity across an unprecedented scale of primary care data. The COVD-19 pandemic led to a substantial change in healthcare activity. Most laboratory tests showed substantial reduction, largely recovering to near-normal levels by September, with some important tests less affected and recording of respiratory disease codes was mixed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine
12.
Br J Gen Pract ; 72(714): e51-e62, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592597

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On 8 December 2020 NHS England administered the first COVID-19 vaccination. AIM: To describe trends and variation in vaccine coverage in different clinical and demographic groups in the first 100 days of the vaccine rollout. DESIGN AND SETTING: With the approval of NHS England, a cohort study was conducted of 57.9 million patient records in general practice in England, in situ and within the infrastructure of the electronic health record software vendors EMIS and TPP using OpenSAFELY. METHOD: Vaccine coverage across various subgroups of Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) priority cohorts is described. RESULTS: A total of 20 852 692 patients (36.0%) received a vaccine between 8 December 2020 and 17 March 2021. Of patients aged ≥80 years not in a care home (JCVI group 2) 94.7% received a vaccine, but with substantial variation by ethnicity (White 96.2%, Black 68.3%) and deprivation (least deprived 96.6%, most deprived 90.7%). Patients with pre-existing medical conditions were more likely to be vaccinated with two exceptions: severe mental illness (89.5%) and learning disability (91.4%). There were 275 205 vaccine recipients who were identified as care home residents (JCVI group 1; 91.2% coverage). By 17 March, 1 257 914 (6.0%) recipients had a second dose. CONCLUSION: The NHS rapidly delivered mass vaccination. In this study a data-monitoring framework was deployed using publicly auditable methods and a secure in situ processing model, using linked but pseudonymised patient-level NHS data for 57.9 million patients. Targeted activity may be needed to address lower vaccination coverage observed among certain key groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Humans , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
13.
Eur Respir J ; 2021 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538054

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Dexamethasone decreases mortality in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients on intensive respiratory support (IRS) but is of uncertain benefit if less severely ill. We determined whether early (within 48 h) dexamethasone was associated with mortality in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 not on IRS. METHODS: We included patients admitted to Veterans Affairs hospitals between June 7, 2020-May 31, 2021 within 14-days after SARS-CoV-2 positive test. Exclusions included recent prior corticosteroids and IRS within 48 h. We used inverse probability of treatment weights (IPTW) to balance exposed and unexposed groups, and Cox proportional hazards models to determine 90-day all-cause mortality. RESULTS: Of 19 973 total patients (95% men, median age 71, 27% black), 15 404 (77%) were without IRS within 48 h. Of these, 3514/9450 (34%) patients on no oxygen received dexamethasone and 1042 (11%) died; 4472/5954 (75%) patients on low-flow nasal cannula (NC) received dexamethasone and 857 (14%) died. In IPTW stratified models, patients on no oxygen who received dexamethasone experienced 76% increased risk for 90-day mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 1.76, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.47 to 2.12); there was no association with mortality among patients on NC (HR 1.08, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.36). CONCLUSION: In patients hospitalised with COVID-19, early initiation of dexamethasone was common and was associated with no mortality benefit among those on no oxygen or NC in the first 48 h; instead, we found evidence of potential harm. These real-world findings do not support the use of early dexamethasone in hospitalised COVID-19 patients without IRS.

14.
Open Heart ; 8(2)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523054

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Health Service (NHS) recommended that appropriate patients anticoagulated with warfarin should be switched to direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs), requiring less frequent blood testing. Subsequently, a national safety alert was issued regarding patients being inappropriately coprescribed two anticoagulants following a medication change and associated monitoring. OBJECTIVE: To describe which people were switched from warfarin to DOACs; identify potentially unsafe coprescribing of anticoagulants; and assess whether abnormal clotting results have become more frequent during the pandemic. METHODS: With the approval of NHS England, we conducted a cohort study using routine clinical data from 24 million NHS patients in England. RESULTS: 20 000 of 164 000 warfarin patients (12.2%) switched to DOACs between March and May 2020, most commonly to edoxaban and apixaban. Factors associated with switching included: older age, recent renal function test, higher number of recent INR tests recorded, atrial fibrillation diagnosis and care home residency. There was a sharp rise in coprescribing of warfarin and DOACs from typically 50-100 per month to 246 in April 2020, 0.06% of all people receiving a DOAC or warfarin. International normalised ratio (INR) testing fell by 14% to 506.8 patients tested per 1000 warfarin patients each month. We observed a very small increase in elevated INRs (n=470) during April compared with January (n=420). CONCLUSIONS: Increased switching of anticoagulants from warfarin to DOACs was observed at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in England following national guidance. There was a small but substantial number of people coprescribed warfarin and DOACs during this period. Despite a national safety alert on the issue, a widespread rise in elevated INR test results was not found. Primary care has responded rapidly to changes in patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/administration & dosage , Blood Coagulation/drug effects , COVID-19 , Drug Substitution/standards , Factor Xa Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/standards , State Medicine/standards , Warfarin/administration & dosage , Aged , Anticoagulants/adverse effects , Blood Coagulation Tests , Drug Monitoring , Drug Prescriptions , Drug Substitution/adverse effects , Drug Utilization/standards , England , Factor Xa Inhibitors/adverse effects , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Safety , Primary Health Care/standards , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Warfarin/adverse effects
15.
Br J Gen Pract ; 72(714): e63-e74, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505838

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare activity. The NHS stopped non-urgent work in March 2020, later recommending services be restored to near-normal levels before winter where possible. AIM: To describe the volume and variation of coded clinical activity in general practice, taking respiratory disease and laboratory procedures as examples. DESIGN AND SETTING: Working on behalf of NHS England, a cohort study was conducted of 23.8 million patient records in general practice, in situ using OpenSAFELY. METHOD: Activity using Clinical Terms Version 3 codes and keyword searches from January 2019 to September 2020 are described. RESULTS: Activity recorded in general practice declined during the pandemic, but largely recovered by September. There was a large drop in coded activity for laboratory tests, with broad recovery to pre-pandemic levels by September. One exception was the international normalised ratio test, with a smaller reduction (median tests per 1000 patients in 2020: February 8.0; April 6.2; September 6.9). The pattern of recording for respiratory symptoms was less affected, following an expected seasonal pattern and classified as 'no change'. Respiratory infections exhibited a sustained drop, not returning to pre-pandemic levels by September. Asthma reviews experienced a small drop but recovered, whereas chronic obstructive pulmonary disease reviews remained below baseline. CONCLUSION: An open-source software framework was delivered to describe trends and variation in clinical activity across an unprecedented scale of primary care data. The COVD-19 pandemic led to a substantial change in healthcare activity. Most laboratory tests showed substantial reduction, largely recovering to near-normal levels by September, with some important tests less affected and recording of respiratory disease codes was mixed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine
16.
Br J Gen Pract ; 72(714): e51-e62, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505837

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On 8 December 2020 NHS England administered the first COVID-19 vaccination. AIM: To describe trends and variation in vaccine coverage in different clinical and demographic groups in the first 100 days of the vaccine rollout. DESIGN AND SETTING: With the approval of NHS England, a cohort study was conducted of 57.9 million patient records in general practice in England, in situ and within the infrastructure of the electronic health record software vendors EMIS and TPP using OpenSAFELY. METHOD: Vaccine coverage across various subgroups of Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) priority cohorts is described. RESULTS: A total of 20 852 692 patients (36.0%) received a vaccine between 8 December 2020 and 17 March 2021. Of patients aged ≥80 years not in a care home (JCVI group 2) 94.7% received a vaccine, but with substantial variation by ethnicity (White 96.2%, Black 68.3%) and deprivation (least deprived 96.6%, most deprived 90.7%). Patients with pre-existing medical conditions were more likely to be vaccinated with two exceptions: severe mental illness (89.5%) and learning disability (91.4%). There were 275 205 vaccine recipients who were identified as care home residents (JCVI group 1; 91.2% coverage). By 17 March, 1 257 914 (6.0%) recipients had a second dose. CONCLUSION: The NHS rapidly delivered mass vaccination. In this study a data-monitoring framework was deployed using publicly auditable methods and a secure in situ processing model, using linked but pseudonymised patient-level NHS data for 57.9 million patients. Targeted activity may be needed to address lower vaccination coverage observed among certain key groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Humans , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
17.
Am J Epidemiol ; 190(11): 2405-2419, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493668

ABSTRACT

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was proposed as an early therapy for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after in vitro studies indicated possible benefit. Previous in vivo observational studies have presented conflicting results, though recent randomized clinical trials have reported no benefit from HCQ among patients hospitalized with COVID-19. We examined the effects of HCQ alone and in combination with azithromycin in a hospitalized population of US veterans with COVID-19, using a propensity score-adjusted survival analysis with imputation of missing data. According to electronic health record data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs health care system, 64,055 US Veterans were tested for the virus that causes COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020. Of the 7,193 veterans who tested positive, 2,809 were hospitalized, and 657 individuals were prescribed HCQ within the first 48-hours of hospitalization for the treatment of COVID-19. There was no apparent benefit associated with HCQ receipt, alone or in combination with azithromycin, and there was an increased risk of intubation when HCQ was used in combination with azithromycin (hazard ratio = 1.55; 95% confidence interval: 1.07, 2.24). In conclusion, we assessed the effectiveness of HCQ with or without azithromycin in treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, using a national sample of the US veteran population. Using rigorous study design and analytic methods to reduce confounding and bias, we found no evidence of a survival benefit from the administration of HCQ.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anti-Bacterial Agents/adverse effects , Azithromycin/adverse effects , COVID-19/mortality , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Intention to Treat Analysis , Machine Learning , Male , Middle Aged , Pharmacoepidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , United States/epidemiology
18.
J Int AIDS Soc ; 24 Suppl 6: e25810, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487489

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the largest provider of HIV care in the United States. Changes in healthcare delivery became necessary with the COVID-19 pandemic. We compared HIV healthcare delivery during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic to a prior similar calendar period. METHODS: We included 27,674 people with HIV (PWH) enrolled in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study prior to 1 March 2019, with ≥1 healthcare encounter from 1 March 2019 to 29 February 2020 (2019) and/or 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021 (2020). We counted monthly general medicine/infectious disease (GM/ID) clinic visits and HIV-1 RNA viral load (VL) tests. We determined the percentage with ≥1 clinic visit (in-person vs. telephone/video [virtual]) and ≥1 VL test (detectable vs. suppressed) for 2019 and 2020. Using pharmacy records, we summarized antiretroviral (ARV) medication refill length (<90 vs. ≥90 days) and monthly ARV coverage. RESULTS: Most patients had ≥1 GM/ID visit in 2019 (96%) and 2020 (95%). For 2019, 27% of visits were virtual compared to 64% in 2020. In 2019, 82% had VL measured compared to 74% in 2020. Of those with VL measured, 92% and 91% had suppressed VL in 2019 and 2020. ARV refills for ≥90 days increased from 39% in 2019 to 51% in 2020. ARV coverage was similar for all months of 2019 and 2020 ranging from 76% to 80% except for March 2019 (72%). Women were less likely than men to be on ARVs or to have a VL test in both years. CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the VA increased the use of virtual visits and longer ARV refills, while maintaining a high percentage of patients with suppressed VL among those with VL measured. Despite decreased in-person services during the pandemic, access to ARVs was not disrupted. More follow-up time is needed to determine whether overall health was impacted by the use of differentiated service delivery and to evaluate whether a long-term shift to increased virtual healthcare could be beneficial, particularly for PWH in rural areas or with transportation barriers. Programmes to increase ARV use and VL testing for women are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Veterans , Cohort Studies , Female , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
19.
J Hematol Oncol ; 14(1): 172, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477441

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Thromboembolism has been reported as a consequence of severe COVID-19. Although warfarin is a commonly used anticoagulant, it acts by antagonising vitamin K, which is low in patients with severe COVID-19. To date, the clinical evidence on the impact of regular use of warfarin on COVID-19-related thromboembolism is lacking. METHODS: On behalf of NHS England, we conducted a population-based cohort study investigating the association between warfarin and COVID-19 outcomes compared with direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). We used the OpenSAFELY platform to analyse primary care data and pseudonymously linked SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing data, hospital admissions and death records from England. We used Cox regression to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for COVID-19-related outcomes comparing warfarin with DOACs in people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. We also conducted negative control outcome analyses (being tested for SARS-CoV-2 and non-COVID-19 death) to assess the potential impact of confounding. RESULTS: A total of 92,339 warfarin users and 280,407 DOAC users were included. We observed a lower risk of all outcomes associated with warfarin versus DOACs [testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, HR 0.73 (95% CI 0.68-0.79); COVID-19-related hospital admission, HR 0.75 (95% CI 0.68-0.83); COVID-19-related deaths, HR 0.74 (95% CI 0.66-0.83)]. A lower risk of negative control outcomes associated with warfarin versus DOACs was also observed [being tested for SARS-CoV-2, HR 0.80 (95% CI 0.79-0.81); non-COVID-19 deaths, HR 0.79 (95% CI 0.76-0.83)]. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, this study shows no evidence of harmful effects of warfarin on severe COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Thromboembolism/drug therapy , Thromboembolism/virology , Warfarin/therapeutic use , Administration, Oral , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anticoagulants/pharmacology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thromboembolism/blood , Thromboembolism/epidemiology , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
20.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 76(3): 254-260, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443618

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Veterans Health Administration COVID-19 (VACO) Index predicts 30-day all-cause mortality in patients with COVID-19 using age, sex and pre-existing comorbidity diagnoses. The VACO Index was initially developed and validated in a nationwide cohort of US veterans-we now assess its accuracy in an academic medical centre and a nationwide US Medicare cohort. METHODS: With measures and weights previously derived and validated in US national Veterans Health Administration (VA) inpatients and outpatients (n=13 323), we evaluated the accuracy of the VACO Index for estimating 30-day all-cause mortality using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and calibration plots of predicted versus observed mortality in inpatients at a single US academic medical centre (n=1307) and in Medicare inpatients and outpatients aged 65+ (n=427 224). RESULTS: 30-day mortality varied by data source: VA 8.5%, academic medical centre 17.5%, Medicare 16.0%. The VACO Index demonstrated similar discrimination in VA (AUC=0.82) and academic medical centre inpatient population (AUC=0.80), and when restricted to patients aged 65+ in VA (AUC=0.69) and Medicare inpatient and outpatient data (AUC=0.67). The Index modestly overestimated risk in VA and Medicare data and underestimated risk in Yale New Haven Hospital data. CONCLUSIONS: The VACO Index estimates risk of short-term mortality across a wide variety of patients with COVID-19 using data available prior to or at the time of diagnosis. The VACO Index could help inform primary and booster vaccination prioritisation, and indicate who among outpatients testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 should receive greater clinical attention or scarce treatments.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Veterans , Academic Medical Centers , Aged , Humans , Inpatients , Medicare , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Veterans Health
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